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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Charlie:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

*Submitted by Kentucky Steve

Did you know? Each year in the U.S., †more than 500 people die and another 15,000 people are treated at hospital emergency rooms for carbon monoxide poisoning. †Source: CDC.gov
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-containing fuels such as charcoal, coal, fuel oil, natural gas, and wood. †Common sources of CO in the home include gas-fired appliances, motor vehicles and wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces.

Effects of CO exposure can vary depending on a personís age, health and the concentration and length of exposure. †Symptoms of mild CO poisoning, including fatigue, headaches and nausea, are often mistaken for the flu. †Symptoms of extreme CO poisoning can include hearing and vision impairment, loss of muscle control, mental confusion, unconsciousness, and vomiting. †

Protect yourself
∑   ∑ † † † † Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm near sleeping areas and outside bedrooms. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Have a qualified professional check all fuel-burning appliances, furnaces, venting, and chimney systems at least once a year. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Never burn charcoal or portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle, or tent. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Never leave a car running in a garage, even with the garage door(s) open. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Never use gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers to heat your home. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Do not use gasoline-powered tools indoors. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Open flues when fireplaces are in use.
Signs of a carbon monoxide problem
∑   ∑ † † † † Streaks of carbon or soot around the service door of fuel-burning appliances.
∑   ∑ † † † † Excessive rusting on flue pipes or appliance jackets. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Moisture collecting on the windows and walls of furnace rooms. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Small amounts of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent or flue pipe. †
∑   ∑ † † † † Damaged or discolored bricks at the top of the chimney.
If you experience symptoms you think could be from CO poisoning, or your CO alarm sounds, dial 9-1-1, open doors and windows for ventilation, and evacuate everyone--including pets--from the house. †

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/co.

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